He was good last year too. Got slapped a few times, but the quality of taps when he got them has gotten pretty good.
Also, yes, plenty of rucks improve pretty late. Ryder only really got good after about 8 years, Martin was nothing until about 28, just as a couple of examples. It happens a fair bit with ruckmen.
The Russian is still the ruck coach I believe. But this is the first time in years that Tommy has had a decent block of games without nasty foot injuries ortime out of the game.
Draper got (real) good at taps to advantage in his first year…
Thought he did really really well. He looked exhausted but still gave it his all.
In the best form of his career
Shouldn’t have played this week.
Certainly should have.
I don’t see why we are pushing him when we know he can’t do a full load. Was the perfect game to rest him, give him two weeks recovery to set him for the remainder of the year.
what other option did we have though? leuey didn’t play vfl so i presume he is injured and draper, although he has potential, isn’t quite ready yet.
Who would have replaced him today?
Looney hasn’t played VFL for a few weeks some reason. Draper isn’t ready you wouldn’t think
Actually, it’s not that atypical for rucks. They often peak after 27.
Play a guy in his 3rd or 4th year of footy on Stef Martin? The week before a week off? How on earth can you justify that?
Toms calf injury/tightness was first mentioned against GWS. In the 3 games since then he has variously had ice therapy at the end of games, massage therapy on the ground at 3/4 time and during time off the field,
In yesterdays game, where in spite of not being unable to jump, he managed to beat Martin in taps to advantage and score almost as many hit outs across the game. Its a credit to his persistence.
Lets hope the 11 day break will help him to recover his calf issue and he will be better around the ground against the Eagles.
This season Tom is doing better at hitouts and hitouts to advantage than Naitanui, but Naitanui is a high jumping freak, so it remains to be seen if Tom can jump with him, or choses to use his body to destabilise Naitanui, which did to good effect against Ryder last year.
Martin is probably one of the few McKernan could take without giving away a size difference. Play him in the ruck for a week. Draper forward and ruck for a game.
This guy is in the form of his life right now.
Putting the ball on a plate for our midfield.
We would never win a clearance without this guy in the side.
Really becoming a leader this season with his performances.
Natanui’s stats are based off rucking only about 50% of the time.
Tom will be up against NicNat and Lycett.
This will be a massive challenge and Smack might need to spend a bit more time in the ruck to keep TBell fresh
He has had an excellent year and will enjoy a well deserved week off.
Sure to get a well deserved contract extension, but we really need to think about succession planning for our ruck stocks. I can’t see Leuenberger being kept when his contract expires at the end of this season. McKernan could get another year but he’s more a forward now than a ruckman. Draper and Lavender are 2 long-term prospects via the Category B rookie and pre-season drafts. We’ll do well if one of those becomes AFL quality, but there is a chance neither will work out. How does this draft look in terms of ruck prospects?